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Research says that African-American women are the least likely to breastfeed their children compared to other groups of women, likely due to barriers in breastfeeding education. “In the African-American community, because our rates are so low, we don’t see breastfeeding,” says Dalvery Blackwell, the co-founder of the African American Breastfeeding Network of Milwaukee.

It’s time to change that. Here are five benefits of breastfeeding.

1. Promotes bonding between the mother and child.

You’ve probably heard other mothers say that breastfeeding helps you feel more connected to your child, but did you know there’s actually science behind that? The hormone oxytocin gets released in your body while breastfeeding. Oxytocin promotes bonding between you and your baby.

2. Breast milk is more nutritious.

The nutrients that are in breast milk can’t be found in store-bought formula. Like Tammi Terrell and Marvin Gaye once sang, “Ain’t nothing like the real thing” and boy, were they right. According to the Natural Resources Defense Council, breast-fed children were less likely develop certain diseases, including heart disease and multiple sclerosis before the age of 15.

Black Women Do Breastfeed: 5 Reasons More Of Us Should  was originally published on blackdoctor.org

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